Lovina is conveniently located on the north coast of Bali, approximately 7km west of Singaraja, the main coastal town. Lovina itself isn’t a town, but rather a string of villages marketed as a resort area. Arriving via Seririt to the west, one has a great opportunity to window shop for a place to stay. One of my suggestions is to stay in a place not on the main road, but with enough space that you won’t hear the traffic. We stayed at the Nirwana Seaside Cottages located next to the beach in central Kalibukbuk. I’ve stayed there before and its and okay place.
Built in 1980, the losman style rooms at the front didn’t appeal to me so we headed for the newer AC rooms at the rear of the large property close to the pool. After a drive there’s nothing like jumping into a pool to unwind. The Nirwana Seaside charged us 500,000rp total for 2 adjoining rooms, both with AC, hot water and TV. The rooms were okay with the only complaint being the hot water not being so consistent. Still staff were nice and we had immediate access to the central beach area. Kalibukbuk has the famous dolphin statue next to the beach and is a place where locals and tourists gather around sunset. Drink sellers and strolling vendors offered their wares (small Bintang 8,000rp) and my mother in law loved haggling for cheap necklaces to give to the kids back in Java. After the drive and a swim I was cooked, so sat like a bump on a log while the business was taken care of.
Lovina has a black sand beach and the whole beach scene is about 1% of Kuta beach. Lovina does not receive swell so the waves are ripples, the water temperature warmer than the south coast. The main thing to do as far as tourists are concerned is ‘dolphin watching’. This means rising at 6am and boarding a small outrigger in pursuit of dolphins for the purpose of viewing them up close. This has become a very heavily marketed activity and I wasn’t tempted in the slightest. Much better in my view to hire a boat and go for a slow cruise along the coast for an hour or 2. Ika wanted to take Jevon on a boat for 20 minutes the afternoon we arrived. After negotiating she offered 20,000rp but the owner wanted 50,000rp. I think they were asking something like 100,000rp for the morning dolphin chasing. While we were in Lovina the place seemed quiet, with scattered family groups from France and Holland. The staff at Nirwana told us last week they were busy, because of tour groups. Apparently they do not get too many walk in guests.
Nirwana Seaside Cottages
Kalibukbuk has a tightly packed selection of bars and restaurants, with some live music. Partiers staying in Lovina may be interested to know there is one legitimate nightclub, the Volcano in Anturan, which opens at 12 midnight, entrance 50,000rp for ‘bules‘. Locals will sometimes tell you there are cafes serving beer, which roughly translates into the kampung version of a hostess bar, where you sit around and get served beer by the waitresses. These places are a waste of time and are just plain nasty. I remember having a beer in one place where the plastic table cloth had about 500 cigarette burns in it. I was scared to put my beer down in case anything crawled into in. When I’m on a road trip, all I’ve got the energy for is food and a drink, late night partying just isn’t going to happen.
After teaching my father in law the game of draughts (checkers) and sampling some rather average Indonesian food we hit the sack (separate sacks).